Monday, February 12, 2018

Triple Chocolate Fudge

Triple Chocolate Fudge is smooth, rich and totally indulgent!

Triple Chocolate Fudge

I used to dread Valentine's Day. Being the mousy, somewhat overweight, redheaded bookworm I was, making friends as a kid was hard enough - let alone sparking crushes within the limited assortment of boys in my private school class. To keep things "fair" (and spare any hurt feelings), our school rule was to bring cards and / or treats for everyone, or nobody at all. I dutifully filled out my Power Rangers, Winnie-the-Pooh or Rainbow Brite cards the weekend before, taking care to make sure I picked the right card for that guy. By lunchtime on the 14th, I had a bagful of folded cards, which I opened at home to find nothing but hastily scrawled names, or more commonly cards addressed to "my friend". 

High school didn't really bode any better - Valentine's Day was marked by the annual candygram fundraisers rather than classroom card swaps, and by homeroom you knew whether you mattered or not. By Grade 10 my friends and I had sworn off the trivial and commercialized nature of the holiday, and ever since I have yet to buy into it again. Don't get me wrong - I'm not 100% cynical about the whole romance thing (just 80%) - but I'd rather treasure and celebrate love every day, not just because some martyr happened to die and somehow get tied to Cupid in the middle of February. 

The commercialization of Valentine's Day isn't all bad, though - it usually heralds the start of a period of excellently-priced chocolate products in the stores that runs right through until Mother's Day, or at the very least, Easter. I can stock up on all sort of good stuff - Lindt, Godiva, Ghirardelli or if I'm really lucky, Scharffen Berger. I honestly don't know why I stock up on it like it's going out of style though - I rarely use it en masse, preferring the pure taste of cooca. However, since it is coming up to the big chocolate holiday, I wanted to embrace the ingredient and recreate a recipe we made when I was in elementary school for the occasion - fudge.

This fudge is extraordinarily easy, for two reasons: one, it's done in a single bowl, no pot required. Two, it's done in the microwave, and you don't need a thermometer to keep track of it's chemistry (I guess that's three reasons, but whatever). The original recipe was a simple condensed milk fudge with a bag of semisweet chocolate chips - a sinfully sweet treat perfect for the child's palate in all of us (especially when sprinkled with crushed pink and red Smarties, as we did back then). I had access to the good stuff this time around though - and wanted to max out the chocolate flavour as much as I could. Inspiration came in the form of chocolate sweetened condensed milk picked up from a local Hispanic food shop, and I knew combining it with the bittersweet chocolate would be amazing. When I later discovered a bottle of chocolate extract in the pantry, I was even more delighted - three chocolate nuances in a melt in your mouth fudge, with enough bitterness to keep the condensed milk at bay, was nirvana.

Whipping up this triple chocolate version is as easy as the usual one, and the hardest part truly is waiting for it to firm up in the fridge. If you're keeping it for yourself (a tempting proposition to be sure), I suggest only slicing off what you plan to eat at one tine, keeping the remainder wrapped in plastic, then foil in the fridge to keep it from drying out or soaking up other fridge odours (Parmesan fudge is just delightful, I'm told ;-) ). Otherwise, slice and wrap individually for your very gracious recipients to enjoy as they see fit. Leftovers? Dice and freeze for a decadent ice cream topping - but don't say I didn't warn you about eating the whole thing!

Triple Chocolate Fudge
Makes one 9x5" loaf pan, 32 pieces
12 oz chopped dark chocolate (or use callets or baking chunks) - minimum 60% cocoa, I prefer 70%
14 oz can chocolate-flavoured sweetened condensed milk*
3 tbsp salted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chocolate extract

*I found a can of this in a local Hispanic food shop. If this isn’t available add 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder to plain condensed milk before using
  1. Combine the chocolate, milk and butter in a medium size microwaveable bowl and heat in the microwave for 100 seconds. Stir to combine and heat another 20 seconds.
  2. Add the extracts and stir until smooth.
  3. Scoop into a parchment lined or silicone loaf pan and spread smooth.
  4. Chill overnight before slicing and serving.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 103.4
Total Fat: 5.7 g
Cholesterol: 6.1 mg
Sodium: 40.2 mg
Total Carbs: 11.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 1.2 g

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